Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life

Steven Hyden. Back Bay, $16.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-25915-6
Freelance pop-culture writer Hyden puts his knowledge of pop music and pop culture on full display in his first book. Though the premise of debating the merits of one band or artist over another may seem a bit contrived, Hyden notes in the preface that he is “not interested in settling these arguments,” which allows him to take his deliberations in fun and original directions. For instance, investigating his own dislike of Blur and his love of Oasis leads Hyden to quote early 20th-century sociologist Charles Cooley, so that he can talk about “how a person’s indemnity is shaped by... the ways in which that individual thinks he or she is perceived by others.” In another example, Pearl Jam versus Nirvana evolves into an exploration of what’s more important: sacrifice or survival. If Nick Hornby’s writing had a love child with Chuck Klosterman’s, the result would be Hyden’s clever prose, as evidenced by his funny-because-it’s-true line about Eric Clapton: “He’s the Vince Carter of guitar legends.” By combining music journalism and pop psychology with some of his own life lessons, Hyden has created a literary mix tape that will be music to pop-culture junkies and the music-obsessed. Agent: Anthony Mattero, Foundry Literary. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/08/2016
Release date: 05/17/2016
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-316-25914-9
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